My last day with P8TT: Reflections on the NOM tour, and what Dave Matthews might have to say about it
October 7, 2010
By Adam Bink
As NOM’s California bus tour comes to a close, so must my time here managing P8TT/NTT (again), as I have to focus on some other election-related projects. So tomorrow will be my last day. Of course I’ll be around in the comments and occasionally do a piece, but the reins will be turned back over to Eden and the rest of the P8TT front-page crew. In the future, you can continue to always find me at my home blog, OpenLeft.com. And I’ll be guesting through Election Day at Crooks and Liars, a popular vlog (video blog), with a special focus on the 2010 elections and progressive, pro-equality candidates. Lastly, if you really, really like me, my Tweets can be fun and useful.
On a personal note, I’d just like to say that it’s been fun to be here. You all continue to wow me with your research, creativity, and passion. I hope you’ve enjoyed my stuff as well!
A couple reflections on the NOM tour. Back last month I rejoined P8TT quoting “we’re putting the band back together!” from Blues Brothers. As the NOM Tour and I come to a close, I have another musical reference I’d like to use. As I was thinking about how much of a disaster this tour was, and the close to it, I thought of a song titled “The Last Stop” by my favorite band, the Dave Matthews Band. The song (as I interpret it) is about religion and how it often drives one to violence.
There are two lyric stanzas I want to pull out as I feel they relate to NOM. Here’s the first:
You’re righteous, so righteous
You’re always so right
Go ahead and dream
Go ahead believe that you are the chosen one
I think it describes the attitude of NOM/Vota Tus Valores folks very well, don’t you?
Although I think the “Summer for Empty Parking Lots Marriage” tour was pretty religious, particularly because more events were held in houses of worship, the undertones of religion felt pretty strong on the California tour as well. I say that because throughout this tour we saw Alfonso, Jennifer and their dour band of followers tell Latinos what their values are, tell religious people what Genesis really says, and tell us all what our values should be and therefore where our vote should go, because that is how they interpret it. And they’re always so righteous, so right, always the chosen ones.
I don’t doubt they’ll think “well, Adam’s just imposing his righteous values on us!” Not quite. I, on the other hand (and notice I didn’t say “we”, because I don’t presume to speak for everyone as they do), believe in expanding equality and policies that don’t hurt others while spreading equality, such as the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. That’s different than eliminating rights and going out of my way to do so. That’s different than using my righteous attitude to take away the rights of others. No one’s “traditional” marriage has been damaged, here. I’m just a regular guy trying to spread a little more love and a little more equality without taking away anything from anyone, not any kind of chosen one bringing my beliefs to bear on everyone else.
The other lyric stanza I want to pull out relates to the news of violence, and the response of NOM’s own Maggie Gallagher (among others) to it on this tour:
Fools are we
If hate’s the gate to peace
This is the last stop
This is the last stop on the tour, but it’s not the last stop for the hatred and bullying that’s propagated by NOM’s actions. As I’ve written in the past few days, they are no different than these bullies — or the adults who influence them — and that’s part of why I keep doing what I do, and hope you will, too. Dave Matthews wrote about peace in the war sense, but I believe it applies in this environment: hate is not the gate to peace if peace is where everyone is heterosexual and in a nuclear family. People are different and must be treated equally, and the sooner NOM learns that, the more peace we’ll have — not just in schools between heterosexual kids and LGBT kids, but in our nation as a whole.